Remember seeing our riders standing proudly on the podium at the TORONTO 2015 Pan-Am Games representing Canada and Ontario? Ontario delivered the largest and most successful Pan Am/Parapan Am Games ever and, in the process, created a legacy for amateur athletes, including riders like you!
The success of these games presented Ontario with an opportunity to position itself as a world leader in amateur sport development. Game ON – The Ontario Government’s Sport Plan was subsequently created to guide the province as it works towards that goal.
What is Game ON?
Game ON is designed to encourage as many people as possible to get involved in activities like horseback riding, to engage and retain participants by developing their passion and skills, to help more Ontario athletes than ever before excel in their chosen discipline and to encourage life-long participation. It will also result in more people engaging in recognized, sanctioned programming, which translates into greater competitive success coming out of Ontario.
Building upon a strong existing foundation of programs, investments and sport organizations like the Ontario Equestrian Federation, Game ON recognizes the many ways that activities like riding are good for people and communities. Physical activity has been linked to a reduced risk of illnesses, improved health and wellbeing of participants, and it has been found to have a positive influence in the lives of young people. Sport also creates inclusive communities with a high quality of life and contributes to community economic development through participation and by hosting major events.
As the provincial sport organization for equestrian, the Ontario Equestrian Federation is working on programming that aligns with the three priorities identified in the Game ON plan:
- Participation – Creating safe, accessible and positive riding experiences to get new people involved
- Development – Ensuring riders have access to trained coaches, officials and volunteers as they progress through their chosen discipline
- Excellence – Identifying riders with big goals and dreams, establishing a path that will help guide their development and connecting them with the resources needed to ensure they have every opportunity to reach the top.
Long-Term Athlete Development
Moving forward, the OEF’s direction and programming will be guided by Game ON as, well as the principles outlined in the Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model for recreation and sport in Canada.
LTAD is a multi-stage training, competition and recovery framework that guides athletes in sport from infancy through all phases of adulthood. In simple terms, children, youth and adults need to do the right things at the right time to develop in their sport or activity. LTAD describes the things athletes need to be doing at specific ages and stages.
LTAD is one of the frameworks that will help us structure our programming and delivery as we work towards achieving the Game ON mandate. We’re in the process of developing infrastructure, programs and initiatives that are aligned with the LTAD principles to ensure the best opportunities for all riders, regardless of their personal goals or stage of development.
Equine Canada is in the process of updating its Long-Term Equestrian Development model, which will guide the equestrian community. Watch for that, along with more information about the OEF’s new programming, coming soon.